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British Gas targets equity release

British Gas is to launch equity-release products, mortgages and secured

loans as part of its move into financial services this year.

The utilities company, a subsidiary of the Centrica Group which also owns

the AA and Goldfish Bank, says it is currently at the development stage and

is confident it will produce a suite of financial products to appeal to its

22 million customer database.

It admits there will be some overlap with AA Financial Services and

Gold-fish but it will target new areas such as equity release.

Although AA closed its IFA division last year 12 months after setting it

up, British Gas believes it can make a success of financial services by

offering its customers “enabling products” which complement its home

services.

British Gas distribution channels will include the internet, phone and

UKwide sales centres.

Mortgageforce managing director Rob Clifford says: “Distribution is king

and it is almost inevitable that companies such as British Gas will look at

this type of diversification but equity release is a complex product.”

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